Mets 1 – Phillies 0 August 7, 2010

New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana delivers a pitch to the Philadelphia Phillies during the second inning of their National League MLB baseball game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 7, 2010. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL) Mets got a big game out of Johan Santana and they really needed it. Santana didn’t give up a hit until the sixth inning and ended up throwing 7.1 shutout innings. It was a nice comeback from two below-par starts. Cole Hamels was almost as good, only giving up 1 run in 7 innings. It was a classic pitchers duel.

The Mets offense was still sleeping with only 7 hits and 2 walks in the game. The Mets only run was on a solo shot by Jeff Francoeur in the seventh inning.

Ruben Tejada took over second base and made several outstanding plays in the field. Fernando Martinez also got into the game in right field late in the game.

The Mets and Phillies will play the rubber game of the series tomorrow afternoon.

Box score

Mets Release Alex Cora, Demote Jesus Feliciano

Alex Cora
Image via Wikipedia

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN, the Mets have released Alex Cora and demoted Jesus Feliciano to Triple-A Buffalo. In corresponding moves, Fernando Martinez and Ruben Tejada are being called up and will be with the team tonight in Philadelphia.

Cora is in his second season with the Mets but hitting only .207 this year in 62 games. The problem with Cora is that his $2 million option for 2011 would vest when he played 80 games in 2010 which he would certainly reach. Management decided to nip that in the bud and release him.

Cora is a popular figure in the Mets clubhouse and a leader on the team. It’ll be interesting to see how the players respond to this adversity. Clearly, the message is that nobody is immune from being shipped out if they don’t perform.

Martinez and Tejada wouldn’t be joining the Mets if they weren’t going to get significant playing time. They’re both young, rising stars in the Mets organization. There’s no point in planting them on the bench. So you would expect other moves to be made to clear out more playing time for them. Specifically, Luis Castillo and Jeff Francoeur will probably be the next Mets players to go.

Mets Minor League Update: Lucas Duda

Lucas Duda
Image by slgckgc via Flickr

Watch out Fernando Martinez, there’s another corner outfielder who is gaining ground on your prospect mojo.

Lucas Duda received International League Offensive Player of the Week accolades last week after blasting five home runs in 23 AB’s. Duda finished the week with a .304/.433/1.000 clip at the plate for the week. Duda has 22 RBI and 23 total hits for AAA Buffalo since his promotion from Binghamton. Impressively, that promotion came on June 14th. The USC product only has 20 games at the AAA level under his belt.

The 24-year-old has made a splash onto the AAA scene, and has impressed scouts at all levels of the farm, but not so much with his power until now. Duda supplanted himself into the Buffalo record books by going yard in five consecutive games last week. After being drafted by the Mets in the 7th round of the 2007 draft, Duda has only tallied 24 home runs in his three full seasons of professional ball. Clearly, Duda is maturing at the plate and putting his 6’5 240 lb frame to good use. Continue reading “Mets Minor League Update: Lucas Duda”

Mets Trading Prospects Not Depth For Cliff Lee

May 11, 2010: Cliff Lee for the Seattle Mariners pitches during a game against the hometown Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. The Mariners beat the Orioles 5 - 1. month is almost upon us, and the Mets definitely look to be buyers this season. With that said, any talk of trading Angel Pagan (selling high) needs to be thrown out immediately. I’m not saying the 29 year old will be a major cog in the next couple of years. Who knows? But it is simply a matter of depth.

Carlos Beltran’s knees are never again going to be a sure bet. Pagan is also not a player who has been kn0wn to avoid the disabled list. It doesn’t hurt having four more than capable outfielders sharing time. Just yesterday, Angel was pulling himself out of a game because of a strained muscle. Depth in the outfield, and in general, is essential and in our case could be a strength.

We all remember what happened in past seasons when we lost key players late. Losing Fernando Tatis in 2008 helped to make our offense as inept as any in baseball at that time. The year before, we lost an aging Alou and Valentin who were key offensive pieces. Depth will allow the hot bats to find the lineup and give a manager the ability to get more creative. Continue reading “Mets Trading Prospects Not Depth For Cliff Lee”

Mets’ Wilmer Flores Making Strides

ST LOUIS, MO - JULY 12:  World Futures All-Sta...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

It seems like just last week I was hearing about some young phenom named Fernando Martinez launching majestic home runs nightly for Double-A Binghamton. Nowadays, we’re starting to learn more about a new stud whose making some noise on the farm. 18-year-old Venezuelan shortstop Wilmer Flores continues to turn heads and provide a presence at the plate that is well beyond his years.

Flores is sporting a .286/.352/.451 clip for Class A Savannah of the South Atlantic League thus far this season. According to Scouting the Sally, Flores is maturing rapidly at the plate. He tacked on 10-15 pounds of muscle during the off-season, and once he makes it to the show he is projected to possess ample power from the right side. We’re talking about a kid who batted .307 between Rookie and A ball in 2008 as a 16-year-old. Continue reading “Mets’ Wilmer Flores Making Strides”

Mets Five Prospects That Could Impact 2010

Mets Thole Singles for First Major League Hit in Denver promised, here is my list of five prospects, in no particular order, that could potentially help the Mets in 2010. Enjoy!

1. Josh Thole, C (age 23)

Josh Thole is coming off of a tremendous season in which he hit .328/.395/.422 in the Eastern League (AA) followed up by an impressive .321/.356/.396 performance when called up to the Mets in September. Since his power is limited, Thole’s defense will go along way in determining whether he will be a starter or backup at the big league level. I do expect Thole to potentially help the Mets in 2010. Right now the current catching tandem is Omir Santos and Henry Blanco, which I can’t really see lasting the full season, especially if the Mets are getting little production from the catching position and Thole is tearing up the International League (AAA), both of which are realistic scenarios.

Continue reading “Mets Five Prospects That Could Impact 2010”

Mets 2010 Prospect Rankings

Mets vs. Brewers

I was reading a post by Tejesh at Mets Prospect Hub on his final ranking of 2009 for the Mets top prospects. Sometimes I think that minor league prospect lists require some explanation about the logic used to determine value in a list. For example, the players that spent significant time on the Mets Major League team in 2009 were Fernando Martinez (#1), Jon Niese (#9), Josh Thole (#10), and Nick Evans (not on top list).

Readiness for big league play isn’t prioritized as a qualifying factor. Total future upside appears to be the priority. I love to read blogs about the Mets minor leaguers, and there are several good ones, because I just don’t have the opportunity to see the minor league players in action especially the low-level leagues. My focus is always on which players are Major League ready or will be in the near future.

I’m still hoping to see Niese get a shot at the rotation in 2010 after missing the rest of the season last August when he tore his hamstring in an ugly scene on the mound. The 23 year-old made five starts last season, having two good ones and two that were kind of ugly, and the final start on August 5 when he got hurt. He ended with a 4.21 ERA over 25.2 IP. Not bad.

Continue reading “Mets 2010 Prospect Rankings”